WHEN it comes to keeping their savings on track, the Smith family are happy to have jumped on board with Darlington Building Society.

Jamie Smith first opened a savings account with the Society when he was left some money by his grandmother, and he went on to use it towards a deposit on his first house.

Now, Jamie and his wife Hayley, have opened savings accounts for their three children: Lola, nine; Mabel, seven; and Ossie, five.

Ossie is the latest family member to join the Society after his parents opened a Darly Young Saver Account for him at their local branch in Tubwell Row, Darlington.

Darly is the name of a magical little train and, whenever Darly accounts are opened, children receive a ceramic train money box. As children build up their savings, they can collect bronze, silver and gold carriages.

Jamie, who specialises in teaching engineering and is vice principal of UTC South Durham, explained: “When the girls were born, they were given some money, and we wanted somewhere safe to put it. We opened accounts for them at Darlington Building Society and it started to build when they got some more money from things like naming days.

“Then Ossie came along, and we wanted to do the same for him. He had a traditional ceramic money box to start with and, when he broke it open to get his money out, he needed somewhere else for his savings.

“We came down to Darlington Building Society and the Darly account was explained to us. The staff were really friendly and accommodating and made everything very easy.”

Hayley, a teaching assistant, added: “We think it’s really important for the children to be financially aware and this is a fun way of encouraging them to save. Ossie loves the little train and it’s such a nice idea.”

Lola and Mabel are both huge JK Rowling fans and are planning to use their savings to visit Harry Potter World, in London. Meanwhile, Ossie is saving hard to buy a Megazord Power Ranger.

Darlington branch manager Jonathan Snee said: “It’s lovely to see the trust families place in Darlington Building Society, with parents passing on their own positive experiences to their children.

“Encouraging saving from an early age is so important and the Darly Young Saver Account is a magical way to start.”

Chief Customer Officer Darren Ditchburn said: “It’s the Society’s mission to encourage saving from a young age and we are delighted to offer the opportunity for children to start their savings journey with Darlington Building Society.”

Darly the train has also been brought to life in colourful children’s book, called Darly’s Magical History Ride, which sees him going back in time through enchanted tunnels. The book can be purchased in any branch with all proceeds from sales of the book  used to buy books for local schools.

To receive a Darly the Train Moneybox, you need to open a Darly Young Saver Account with £10. It’s available to children aged 12 and under who live in our local operating area.